Innovation is whatever everyone wants, these days. Some are paying for it. Some are trying to create it themselves. Some are trying to reign it in, while some are trying to unearth hidden creativity. One thing is true – we all need it – and regardless of what business you’re in, and what market you’re trying to reach, we know that your clients want the best that their buck can afford. They want a confident, and stress-free purchase cycle without having to think about it, but knowing that it will deliver exactly what they’re after. And it’s up to you to make all of that happen.
So, in this blog we’ve scoured the news channels, forums and text books to capture just a few of our favourite examples of how others are revealing hidden innovation within their own organisation – by simply making the smallest of changes.
Switch Things Around
We love Forbes’ article where they draw relevance to the importance of Tuesdays. They say, “Research by Accountemps reveals that Tuesday is the most productive day of the week for employees, so this is the day when they should be able to focus on their most challenging projects instead of having their time eaten up by mundane meetings. Why not make Tuesday a meeting-free day and then hold a meeting on Wednesday instead, when everyone can exchange ideas?
The study goes on to explain the ins-and-outs of meeting schedules in general, with suggestions to avoid the 4pm mental check-out, and action-less meetings with no clear outcome. If you do need to get together – plan your meeting between 10am and lunchtime which is when teams are in their most productive mind sets. If you’re planning a brainstorm, do it outside or in a new environment that doesn’t bring a preconceived mood that stifles creativity, or ushers in the mundane.
Schedule Innovation Time
A slight oxymoron in itself, scheduling time for innovation means that you are asserting the same amount of focus and importance to Innovation as you do to your daily lunch break. We recognise that creativity doesn’t live between the 9-5, but scheduling time for your team to explore innovation means that you are not stretching your team so thinly that any potential for creative thinking becomes stifled. Two great examples where this approach is working well is Google’s “20% time” and 3M, where all employees were given their “15% time,” a program at 3M that allows employees to use a portion of their paid time to ‘chase rainbows and hatch their own ideas’ – both of which have hatched products and innovations that have seen the businesses grow immeasurably.
Make Failure Your Friend.
In this blog, we spoke about some innovation greats who didn’t always get it right first time. Some stumbled (quite a few times) before they hit the jackpot. Bill Gates’ first company completely flopped. Elvis was told to return to Truck Driving. Walt Disney was accused of not having any imagination. Oh boy, if Mickey Mouse could only speak to us now. Nothing in life is completely risk-free, and innovation is certainly no exception. With risk, comes failure – but inspiring your teams to keep going means being tolerant, and accepting of when things don’t go according to plan. After all, “breakthroughs don’t happen when companies play it safe” – Lauren Landry.
Ira Kalb of the Marshall School of Business goes a step further to simply ‘embracing failure’. He suggests that they be considered in the cumulative context of an eventual success.
If you’ve got a great innovation story to tell, share it with us. If you’re looking for support to commercialise your innovation for long-term growth, get in touch.